Is there a place for surgical site assessment using new and imaging modalities during routine clinical care? A review of dressings use and changes from an online survey

Pasang Devi Tamang, Charmaine Childs, John Stephenson, Karen Ousey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The care and management of surgical incisional wounds continues to attract both interest and concern, due to continued high rates of surgical site infection (SSI) and morbidity. Novel approaches to objective wound assessment using non-invasive imaging modalities show promise in providing independent, objective wound assessment but only with the proviso that the wound is visible and can be ‘seen’ by the imaging detector.
Methods
An online semi-structured questionnaire was distributed via Survey Monkey to nursing staff working with people who have a tissue viability condition across the United Kingdom.
Data was summarised descriptively, with responses relating to participant demographics and use of wound dressings tabulated. Key variables were also cross tabulated to investigate possible associations between variables. An economic analysis was conducted to estimate average weekly costs associated with changing and applying dressings, including both staff and equipment costs.
Conclusion
The largest type of dressing products currently in use were non-adherent. Dressing changes took place approximately twice per week: more frequently if wounds were assessed/diagnosed as infected. The majority of wound assessment and dressing changes were undertaken by Band 5, 6 or 7 practitioners. There is a potential role for non-invasive infrared thermography to stratify risk of later SSI based upon the temperature distribution across wound site and adjacent skin territories. Early and objective interventions for early wound infection can reduce hospital in-patient stay, community visits, antimicrobial usage, patient morbidity and healthcare costs related to wound infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalWounds UK
Volume18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2022

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